Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 130, 1898

Moses as a Shepherd


October 17, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Moses spent forty years as a shepherd, that he might be prepared to understand himself, and to purify himself by emptying himself, that the Lord might accomplish His will through him. While minding sheep Moses endured a long process of mental training, that he might be fitted to be the leader of the armies of Israel. God does not use as His agents mere machines in intellect or feeling. These are essential to the work, but the human elements of the character must be purged from defects, not by talking of the will of God, but by doing His will. “If any man willeth to do his will,” He declares, “he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” [John 7:17.] 13LtMs, Ms 130, 1898, par. 1

Inspiration will come to the men of God’s appointment, but never to the man who retains a high idea of his own mental superiority. Those whom God uses to do His will must have humble ideas of themselves. Yet, God does not require any man to be useless, to sink into helplessness, becoming more and more incapacitated for doing the will of God. God calls upon everyone to do the very highest kind of thinking, praying, hoping and believing. 13LtMs, Ms 130, 1898, par. 2

While minding sheep, Moses was under God’s training. He had much to unlearn, in order that he might learn the lessons he needed to learn. He needed to be trained by the severest mental and moral discipline. God wrought long with him, before he was fitted to train others. He had been instructed in the Egyptian courts. Nothing was left undone that would fit him to become the general of armies. The false theories of the Egyptians had been instilled into his mind. The influences which had surrounded him, and the impressions made by the things his eyes had looked upon, could not be easily shaken off or corrected. All the idolatrous rubbish of heathen lore must be removed little by little. 13LtMs, Ms 130, 1898, par. 3

Jethro helped Moses in many ways, as far as he himself understood, to gain a correct faith, and Moses worked steadily upward toward the light. And when he was prepared to see God in singleness of heart, Jehovah was revealed to him. 13LtMs, Ms 130, 1898, par. 4